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The flavors of eggplant parmesan are made portable in this flavorful eggplant parmesan sandwich recipe. It’s cheesy, toasty, and oh-so-good!
One of the first vegetarian main dishes I remember ever eating was eggplant parmesan, served up by a friend of a friend in college.
I had no experience with eggplant, but I loved the meal and knew I would be trying it out myself.
When I get a craving I often make slow cooker eggplant parmesan, but I also wanted to mimic the flavors in a lunchtime sandwich.
Often, the eggplant in eggplant parmesan is overshadowed by the tomato sauce, cheese, and pasta it’s served with.
On this eggplant parmesan sandwich, the star is the eggplant, with tomatoes and cheese just serving as supporting roles.
If you’re unsure about eggplant, this is a great recipe to give it a try!
Ingredients for eggplant parmesan sandwiches
Eggplant – Depending on the size of your eggplant, you will need 1 or 2. A large eggplant about 20 ounces is a good size.
Salt – You’ll need plenty of salt to draw out moisture in the eggplant. I use fine sea salt.
Olive oil – A small amount for the sauce.
Tomato – Instead of a jarred marinara sauce, we’re making a simple tomato topping.
Onion – Use white or yellow onion. For more of a spicy bite, use red onion.
Basil – You can use fresh or dried basil. Remember that 1 tablespoon of fresh basil equals 1 teaspoon dried basil.
Ground black pepper – For seasoning the sauce.
Eggs – The eggs are whisked and then used for the eggplant coating.
Breadcrumbs – I recommend fine breadcrumbs here. You can use seasoned breadcrumbs if you like!
Parmesan – Use freshly grated parmesan cheese, not granulated.
Mozzarella – You can use shredded or sliced fresh mozzarella for topping the sandwiches.
Hoagie or sub rolls – Look for soft rolls that are larger than hot dog buns. You can also use a baguette or long French loaf sliced into portions.
How to make this recipe
First, you need to salt the eggplant.
Peel the eggplant and cut into circles ¼ to ½ inch thick.
Set a colander over the sink. Layer the eggplant in the colander, salting both sides of each piece.
Let the eggplant sit for 15 minutes. You will be able to see water being drawn out of the slices.
While the eggplant rests, make the tomato sauce.
Warm olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes, until tomatoes are breaking down and juicy.
Stir in the basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low and let simmer.
In a high-sided skillet or a Dutch oven, add ½ cup canola or vegetable oil. Heat over medium.
Preheat the broiler.
Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry. Dip the eggplant in the egg, letting excess drip off.
Using your other hand, dredge the eggplant in the breadcrumbs, patting to help adhere.
When the oil is hot (about 350°F), carefully lower coated eggplant into the oil. Cook in batches, for about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown on both sides.
Drain cooked eggplant on a paper towel and repeat until all eggplant is cooked.
Cut hoagie rolls and lay open on a baking sheet.
Spread on a spoonful of tomato sauce, then layer on eggplant. Top with additional tomato sauce, then mozzarella cheese.
Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and bread is toasty.
Tips and tricks
Look for eggplant that is about the same width as the bread you plan to use. It should be firm with just a slight amount of give to the skin.
Avoid eggplant that has brown spots on the skin; this is generally overripe.
Be sure to peel the eggplant — the coating will not stick to the smooth skin.
To make these sandwiches faster, substitute your favorite marinara or pasta sauce for the chunky tomato sauce.
You can reheat the fried eggplant slices in a
If you have more eggplant on hand, try my baked eggplant chips!
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It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
- 1 eggplant, about 20 ounces
- 3 teaspoons salt, divided use
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomato
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 4 hoagie rolls or small baguettes, sliced open lengthwise
- Peel and slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Sprinkle both sides on with 2 teaspoons salt and place in a colander set in the sink or over a bowl to drain.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes, until tomatoes have broken down.
- Stir in basil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and let simmer.
- Rinse salt off eggplant and pat dry with a towel.
- Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl. Stir together breadcrumbs and parmesan in another shallow bowl.
- Heat vegetable oil in a high-sided sauté pan or dutch oven over medium. Preheat broiler.
- Dip eggplant slices in egg, letting excess drip, and then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Turn to coat.
- Place 3-4 slices in hot oil and fry until golden on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside to a paper-towel lined plate to drain while you finish the remaining slices.
- To assemble, lay split hoagie buns on a baking sheet. Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce on the bottom of each bun. Layer eggplant slices on top, then add more tomato sauce as desired. Top with mozzarella.
- Broil sandwiches for a few minutes to melt mozzarella and crisp the bread.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…